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College student among 4 arrested on suspicion of scalping AKB48 concert tickets

The Metropolitan Police Department put the forged ID cards, which the suspects allegedly used to resell AKB48 concert tickets, on display to the media at Manseibashi Police Station, on June 14, 2018. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- A college student and three other men have been arrested for allegedly scalping concert tickets for the all-girl pop group AKB48, police announced on June 14.

Student Jota Sato, 22, a resident of Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, and the other suspects are accused of buying 20 tickets for an AKB48 concert at a convenience store in Soka, Saitama Prefecture, on Oct, 25, 2017, to scalp, a violation of the Saitama Anti-Nuisance Ordinance and other regulations.

The suspects have apparently stated, "I needed money to continue to be an AKB48 fan."

The Metropolitan Police Department said that the suspects registered 800 false names to receive group IDs, which are required to buy tickets to the group's concerts. After purchasing the tickets, they allegedly resold them together with forged ID cards, such as a resident card or health insurance card, which they apparently made using a printer. Officials at the group's concerts match ticket holders with their ID in a bid to prevent scalping.

The police claim the suspects made some 4.6 million yen from June 2016 to January 2018 through scalping tickets.

(Japanese original by Ikuko Ando, City News Department)

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